Mum-of-two, 42, twice diagnosed with brain tumour raises thousands for research

A mum-of-two who has twice been diagnosed with a brain tumour has raised thousands of pounds for research by completing 100 star jumps a day while undergoing chemotherapy.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet funding towards fighting them has been historically low compared to other forms of the disease.

Former detective sergeant Charlotte Hobbs, from Penarth, was first diagnosed with a brain tumour 10 years ago.

The 42-year-old underwent surgery, but last year was given the devastating news that it had returned.

"I had the surgery and I thought that's all done, then they mentioned about coming back in to get the results of the biopsy, and I thought what's all that about?" Charlotte explained.

"They said I would need further treatment, so that was a massive shock.

"Then I went to see the oncologist and he said to me, 'you do know this is going to come back don't you? And if you want to have any more children you should have them now'."

Charlotte was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma in July 2010, before being told she had a brain tumour.

After a decade-long career in the police, Charlotte's pace of life drastically changed.

"When I was in uniform in the police, I would be more than happy racing around to emergency calls with my blue lights on.

"Now, after not driving for two years, people [say] I'm driving like Miss Daisy - I hate driving now, it makes me so nervous, so that's a big difference.

"Also, if I hadn't have had this and been forced to leave I would've probably wanted to go on to become a superintendent."

Charlotte may no longer be fighting crime, but she is now playing a big part in fighting the disease.

By completing 100 star jumps a day throughout November, she's raised more than £5,500 for Brain Tumour Research.

Charlotte's daughters Catrin and Freya have been star jumping with her each morning.

Overall, Charlotte will complete a total of 3,000 star jumps, all while undergoing her eighth cycle of chemotherapy.

Reacting to the amount raised, she said: "I can't get over it, it's just making my day, my week, my month, it's amazing - it's blown my mind."

Brain Tumour Research is campaigning for the government and larger cancer charities to invest more into brain tumours to speed up new treatments for patients and find a cure.

Hugh Adams, from the charity, said: "What we know with absolute certainty is if we're going to improve options and outcomes for patients then we need to invest in the scientific research that underpins all clinical innovation.

"Historically just 1% of the national cancer research spend has gone into brain tumours, that's not enough, charities can only do so much, it's time for the government to step up and support us and make a difference for brain tumour patients."

Charlotte said she struggled with losing her hair, but prefers not to wear a wig as it irritates her skin.

The Welsh Government said it's in the process of researching new treatments, including £9.4m into a brain imaging research centre at Cardiff University.

It said this well help fund an ultra-high field MRI scanner and the development of the campus.

It added that Welsh patients are also currently participating in a number of clinical trials looking at new radiotherapy treatments and alternatives.

But donations remain vital, and Charlotte said having the support of her daughters Freya, 15, and Catrin, 10, has made a big difference throughout her fundraising challenge.

"They've obviously been through a lot with lockdown, so I'm just pleased that they're still the same girls that they were."